Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Emotional Whack-a-Mole.

It is confusing. Knowing how I'm supposed to feel. Being a caregiver of three children with Diabetes, I am expected to feel many emotions, take on many different attributes...all at one time. Is it no wonder my brain is swelly?

I'm expected to be brave: Allowing my 14 year old go away on a camp out for the weekend. Bravery. Allowing my 10 year old to attend Basketball Camp for 8 hours without me. Bravery. Allowing my 8 year old to go on an all day fieldtrip without me. Bravery. I have to keep a stiff upper lip and jump into the trust pool with both feet.

I'm expected to be strong: I want to cry all the time. But for the sake of being a semi-normal person in society, I must find the strength to believe there is a purpose in all of this. I've found it is easy to be bitter. Letting things go requires a strength that is not often recognized by society.

I'm expected to be vulnerable: I have to let myself feel for the sake of staying human. I must find times to cry to release the emotions and let life know I'm not a robot.

I'm expected to be humble: I can't believe that I know everything. I have to be willing to learn from everyone...even in the most unlikely of places.

I'm expected to be confident: I can't let the boys leave for school in the morning without exuding confidence in my decisions. They need to know I feel good about the decisions I have made, so they can enjoy their time away from me.

I'm expected to be certain: I must be certain that I entered in the numbers correctly. I must be certain that I used all of my best SWAGing abilities. I must be certain I did all I could for them to be safe.

I'm expected to be uncertain: I must always question myself. Second guess, and in turn...double check what I do.

I'm expected to be loving: I can't let my anger at the numbers bleed over to how I treat my children. They need to know that they are not at fault for my mood swings...or even some blood sugar swings for that matter.

I'm expected to be angry: Just angry enough to find the fight inside myself to keep going. The fight that says this disease won't win. I will keep my boys safe!

I'm expected to be wary: I must look at the pros and cons of everything. Educated decisions always. And when I listen to people I must always know that they are biased one way or the other...but that their opinion is based on experience, so there is always something to take away. It is up to me to find that nugget of wisdom in everything I read and hear.

I'm expected to be harsh: I have to be harsh on myself sometimes. Whether I like it or not, guilt is a motivator.

I'm expected to be forgiving: I have to forgive myself for forgetting to bolus. I must forgive the boys for forgetting to bolus. I have to know it isn't always my fault, and if it is my fault, I must understand that I am human.

I'm expected to be concerned: When that phone rings from the school and it isn't our designated time...I'm concerned. But, I also need to be concerned about how diabetes is affecting the boys. I need to be concerned about their mental well being as well as their physical well being...always.

I'm expected to be nonchalant: When someone asks how things are going, I'm expected to say, "Ahh, just fine. And you?"

I'm expected to be a fighter: My children come first. If I think they need to see the doctor, I will fight to see the doctor, even when the advice nurse thinks it isn't needed. I will fight for the rights of my children, and for their freedoms when it comes to Our Diabetic Life. I will fight every blood sugar number under 90 and above 120.

I am expected to be a schmuck: I need to take punch after punch after punch and not get up and punch life back. I need to take a few harsh blows...and understand that is the way life works.

I am expected to be rejoicing: Every moment I have with these boys is a miracle. I can't lose sight of the fact that we are blessed beyond measure to have access to insulin, blood sugar monitors, pumps and CGMs.

I am expected to be serious: Every decision I make is life saving. Every time I forget it means potential danger for my children. My choices affect my boys in an intimate, very real way. I need always to be cognoscente that diabetes is a serious...real...disease.

But regardless of all of this: I'm expected to be unaffected.

I need to feel all of this and not show it, well all the time anyway. (Or even all at ONE time.) I'm a mother and a wife first and foremost, which means keeping all of these emotions in check so I don't scare the crap out of anyone. It is almost like my emotions are one big Whack-a-Mole game. Each emotion pops its head up, and before I can get a handle on it, the next one or two pop up in its place. My mallet is in overdrive trying to keep up with all the emotions/moles on the table.

Who expects all this of me? Or what? Is it life? Is it me? Right now I can't answer that. All I know is I've been dealt this hand and I will play it.

Even though all of this is expected by the cosmos, it doesn't mean I'm not free to just be me. And if being me means schizophrenic-feeling-palooza...then so be it.

Because when I least expect it, feelings change...and that makes life more interesting.

Seriously, who wants a boring life anyway?

I choose my life any day of that week.  Emotional Whack-a-Mole and all.


  1. Awesome, Meri. You are such an inspiration. HUGE HUGS!

  2. I.DONT.KNOW.HOW.YOU.DO.IT!!! i have a hard enough time managing my own D without even thinking about managing someone else's. when my children were young, i prayed each night that they would be safe from this. now they are adults, i still pray, but i've added my 2 grandchildren to the prayers as well. i know God never gives us more than we can handle, but wouldn't it be nice if just once in a while He would "come on down" and give us a day off? or even a couple hours? maybe that's where our "better half" comes in?

  3. Thank you for this. Once again the feelings of my heart put into words. Glad to know it's "normal" to feel/think these things.

  4. Meri,

    Posts like this one is the reason you are such an inspiration to other parents and PWD as well!

  5. What a wonderful post Meri. You hit it on the head. This should be on every parent of a kid with D's wall. Seriously.

  6. Yes, this is the way I feel too though I would not know quite how to express it until you put it into words. What an accurate analogy, "emotional whack a mole." I say, forget what others expect sometimes and just let your feelings out. You have a heavier load than I do and I must confess I could not live up to the examples you give. You are an inspiration, that is for sure. But are you asking too much of yourself when you suppress your feelings, your emotions, hold them all in for the sake of others. Let some of the emotions out, even if you have to punch a few pillows privately.

    1. Thank you so much for you kind response anon! Trust me, my feelings flow...many a pillow have met my fist. For the most part though, I'm able to function as a happy, grateful human being. It is just those little whack a mole moments that often catch me off guard. In those moments I try my best, hope my best, and love my best. And if all else fails, I cry my best. It always works out in the end.

  7. You're such an inspiration and strong person, Meri. Great post, thanks for writing this.

  8. And here I thought it was just D itself that was the whack-a-mole game! Brilliant post. :)

  9. So much truth in this! Meri, you are my favorite emotinal Whack-a-Mole in the whole world!!

  10. I think we all feel this way at one time or another. It's so hard not to get wrapped up in everything, but it's funny you call it whack a mole, because ultimately, we are in control and we can whack away at diabetes :)

  11. oh meri, this is why i love you. i'm with you on that emotional rollercoaster. we all are. one day at a time, friend. <3


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